Pain in sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and high health care costs. Although episodic acute pain is the hallmark of this disorder, there is an increasing awareness that chronic pain is part of the pain experience of many older adolescents and adults. A common set of criteria for classifying chronic pain associated with SCD would enhance SCD pain research efforts in epidemiology, pain mechanisms, and clinical trials of pain management interventions, and ultimately improve clinical assessment and management. As part of the collaborative effort between the Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations Innovations Opportunities and Networks public-private partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Pain Society, the Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations Innovations Opportunities and Networks-American Pain Society Pain Taxonomy initiative developed the outline of an optimal diagnostic system for chronic pain conditions. Subsequently, a working group of experts in SCD pain was convened to generate core diagnostic criteria for chronic pain associated with SCD. The working group synthesized available literature to provide evidence for the dimensions of this disease-specific pain taxonomy. A single pain condition labeled chronic SCD pain was derived with 3 modifiers reflecting different clinical features. Future systematic research is needed to evaluate the feasibility, validity, and reliability of these criteria.
Perspective: An evidence-based classification system for chronic SCD pain was constructed for the Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations Innovations Opportunities and Networks-American Pain Society Pain Taxonomy initiative. Applying this taxonomy may improve assessment and management of SCD pain and accelerate research on epidemiology, mechanisms, and treatments for chronic SCD pain.
Keywords: Sickle cell disease; chronic pain; diagnostic criteria; taxonomy.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.